Monday, November 20, 2006

Big Battle Near Bagdad?

I'm getting word of a big battle last week between terrorists and elements of the 82nd Airborne, east of Baghdad, near the Iranian border. According to one U.S. officer, the fighting "was intense," and the battle was one of the "five biggest" between our troops and insurgents in recent years. As many as one hundred terrorists were killed in the battle; American losses were described as light, although one member of the 82nd said at least three U.S. officers died in the fighting, including a company commander.

Late last week, Bill Roggio had an excellent round-up of recent clashes between the terrorists and U.S. forces, although most of his report focused on activity near Kirkuk, Baquba, and Ramadi. The battle described to me was about 100 miles east of Baghdad, where elements of the 82nd discovered (and attacked) a terrorist training center. The division has been focusing a lot of activity in that area as of late, trying to reduce the flow of fighters and material support from Iran.

In his report, Mr. Roggio also has a timely link to Michael Fumento's recent dispatch from Ramadi, where U.S. snipers have exacted a devastating toll on the enemy. A sniper team from the 1/506th reportedly accounted for 120 enemy kills during a recent deployment in the Ramadi area. Naturally, you won't see any video from our snipers on CNN, but there's a larger point that's missing as well: as Bill Roggio notes, virtually all of this coalition activity flew "under the radar scope" of the MSM, which focused (instead) on the daily ration of car bombings and killings in Baghdad.

The only troubling aspect of the battle I was told about? According to one 82nd officer, Iraqi security forces "watched" our troops as they carried out the tough fight near the border. That's not a statement that builds confidence in the Iraqis' ability to eventually do the job on their own.

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